It is no secret that transferring to UM from an HBCU is a big transition. However, it is nothing that we cannot handle. There is a strong cohort of former HBCU students who form a tight knit family that eases the transition process. With all transitions, it is always best to find your niche within a new school. Join new organizations and meet new people. That is the best way to ease the transition between schools. It also makes the school feel smaller. The more people you know, the easier it will be.
The most challenging part of being a DDEP student is adjusting to the style of the classes. It is not necessarily more difficult than our schools in the AUC. However, the style difference is difficult to grasp. The classes are larger, the pace is faster, and office hours are more essential.
There is no place like the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor. The College of Engineering is the #6 engineering school in the country. Not only that, it is Top 10 in all but 2 undergraduate engineering degree programs. It is obvious to see the standard that is set by Michigan students. Everyone here is striving to be great.
Aside from the facts and figures, Michigan also has an AUC family, with emphasis on the word "family". It did not take long for me to realize that this group was tight and very supportive. This helps with the transition and sort of makes the school feel smaller. There are more than 20 students from the AUC that major in a wide variety of engineering disciplines. You always have someone to count on, to talk to, and to confide in.
Ann Arbor is a beautiful college town with plenty of fun things to do but not many distractions. It is not a big city, so you feel welcome and at home as soon as you step foot in the city. Everyone there supports the University and its students, and is willing to help with any problems you have. Also, if you want to experience every season, Ann Arbor is the place to be.
Last but not least, the sports. Coming from the AUC, sports isn't a huge thing. I love sports and seeing that Michigan has one of the best athletic programs in the country made my decision even easier. We play football in a stadium known as the "Big House", the largest stadium in the country. That sold me right there. Not to mention, Michigan is home to the likes of Tom Brady, Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson, Michael Phelps, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, and more.
The best part of my DDEP experience is going to the football games, basketball games, family gatherings, and other outings with my AUC family.
In all seriousness, the University of Michigan is a school where I knew I would get the full college experience. This experience includes top notch academics, great athletics, and a great social life. There was no other school that could say that.